/seasons/2011/contrib/20110728m1gl1v

Shenandoah University 2011 football preview

More news about: Shenandoah

This coming fall marks an end for the Shenandoah University football team – the program will play its seven USA South Conference opponents for the final time as league rivals in 2011.

In 2012, Shenandoah moves to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and will play virtually an entire new slate of opponents.

After 11 years of conference football, the Hornets will play just Ferrum andChristopher Newport next season as part of the non-conference slate.

"This year is our last year," head coach Paul Barnes said. "Of course our goal is to win every game, but since it is the last time we will be playing the majority of these schools, that thought is even greater in our minds."

Barnes, heading into his ninth season at the helm of the SU program, has 20 of a possible 26 starters (11 offense, 11 defense and four consisting of the special teams positions of kicker, punter, holder and long snapper) returning this year.

Nine of these starters come on the defensive side of the ball with seven coming on offense.

Placekicker Andrew Lloyd, punter Cory Gay (who also serves as the holder) and long snapper Ben Brooks also all return.

Chief among these returning defensive starters are All-USA South honorees Nick ErdmanCorey GiffingJosh Rogers and Larry Gibbs.

Erdman, a junior, is a two-year starter at defensive tackle, Giffing and Rogers are middle linebackers while Gibbs has been a mainstay in the defensive backfield.

Erdman had a second-best on team 13.5 tackles for loss last season on his way to being named honorable mention All-USA South.

An excellent student, Erdman was also one of two returning Hornets to earn Capital One Academic All-District III honors.

Erdman's work up front made the job of Giffing and Rogers much easier in the middle of the defense. Giffing, a junior, and Rogers, a sophomore, combined for 176 tackles (a school-record 101 by Giffing) as Giffing was tabbed as a second team linebacker and Rogers to the honorable mention team.

Both men grabbed Player of the Week honors during the season and Rogers, who was named as the league defensive Rookie of the Week on two occasions, picked up a D3football.com Team of the Week award after posting seven tackles in the Christopher Newport contest on October 2.

Gibbs had 62 tackles (32 solo) and seven passes defensed from his free safety position and was named second team All-USA South.

"These four guys provide us an excellent core to start with," Barnes said. "They are leaders on the field and in the weight room, and the coaching staff expects them to be an example for our younger guys in showing them what it takes to be a successful student-athlete."

Barnes and defensive coordinator Brock McCullough add to those four returnees by welcoming back Dustin RowlandPreston FunkSean PurcellByron MitchellBrandon Martin and Philip Volz from the top of the depth chart that was posted for the 2010 season finale at Greensboro.

Those seven players started a combined total of 35 games (including Purcell and Volz with 10 each) with Mitchell making 42 tackles from his cornerback position.

This group does not include senior linebacker John Redmond, a two-year starter at middle linebacker who missed the final seven games of the year with a knee injury, and senior LB Jon Ludden.

"We played a tremendous number of guys last season and guys like Dustin, Preston, Byron and Brandon earned playing time as freshmen," Barnes said.

"We lost a couple of starters, but I don't think that is going to hurt us as much as it has in the past because of our depth. We should be in the same situation again this year in terms of excellent competition for starting spots."

Barnes and McCullough can also look to Cliff Parkins, Derrick Brown and Evan Griffin for depth on the defensive side of the ball. Parkins and Brown were both on the two-deep for most of the year and Griffin moves to outside linebacker after starting his career as a tight end.

Offensively, Keone Kyle departs after gaining over 2000 yards in two seasons in a Hornets uniform, but starters at every other position except right guard and the 'Z' wideout return.

Senior Rico Wallace, who became the first 1000-yard receiver in school history last season, again figures to be a focal point on offense.

Wallace had 56 catches for 1023 yards and was one of two SU players (the other being graduated offensive lineman Jamal Venable) to earn first team All-USA South accolades.

Wallace is the all-time leader at Shenandoah in receptions, reception yardage and receiving touchdowns after just three seasons in the program. In addition to the first team All-USA South nod, Wallace set a new school record with 224 yards receiving in the Ferrum contest last season and was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week.

Throwing Wallace the football again this season will be classmate Daniel Wright. Wright, a southpaw out of Verona, Virginia, finished second in the USA South in passing last season 1643 yards and 11 touchdowns on 126 completions over 229 attempts.

His 19 for 27 for 315 yards against Ferrum on October 23 represented the first time in school history that an SU quarterback cracked the 300-yard barrier in a game.

Wright had at least 10 completions in seven games, including the final four, and also ran for a score in theAverett victory at the end of October.

"Last season, we were fortunate for Daniel in that he had Rico and Keone as experienced playmakers to get the ball to," Barnes said. "That meant we didn't have to ask him to make all of the plays at the beginning of the season.

"He matured into that role as the year went on and we were more successful as we asked him to take on more of the offense.

"I think Daniel's ability to run the offense is going to really help us be balanced this season."

With Kyle having graduated, Barnes and offensive coordinator Brian Wolf will turn to junior Brad Martz along with sophomore DaShawn Hopkins to shoulder the load at tailback.

Martz had 33 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns last season with Hopkins gaining valuable experience playing in junior varsity contests.

"Brad is a great athlete," Barnes said. "At the beginning of last season, we put him on defense for a bit in order to get him on the field.

"He played both fullback and tailback last season and is more than capable of handling the job as our primary ballcarrier.

"DaShawn has excellent speed and toughness. I think he will be right there competing for significant playing time."

At fullback, senior Paul Athey returns.

Wallace' 56 catches return at wideout, but Brian Calloway (26 receptions for 246 yards) and Derrick Lee (24 for 248) are no longer with the program.

Lee, who elected not to play football this season, also was the team's primary punt and kickoff returner in 2010. He had 48 total returns for 862 yards.

In their place, Barnes and Wolf point to senior Kyle Feldman, junior Qiydaar Murphy and sophomore Adam Tibbs as the early candidates for the starting job.

Feldman, who was named first team Capital One Academic All-District III last season, had four catches for 46 yards to lead this group.

Murphy and Tibbs both had one reception in limited varsity action.

"These guys might not have the experience that Rico has, but they improved steadily throughout last season and are ready to take the next step," Barnes said.

"I feel very confident with any one of them as one of our starting receivers."

Backing them up will be sophomores Eric Massado and David Wilson.

The final 'skill' position, tight end, will once again be manned by the duo of Stephen Dellinger and Austin Barnes.

Dellinger made nine starts and had two catches for four yards while Austin Barnes (Paul Barnes oldest son) alternated with Dellinger every other series.

"The two of them compliment each other very well. Each will see significant time again this season," Paul Barnes said.

Up front, Bryan VickersJacob BrentMichael DudaChris LewisJames EnglishNate Mullins and Tim Thierer all return from the season-ending depth chart.

These seven players average just a shade under 296 pounds and helped the offense average 281.1 yards per game last season.

"Joe (Jacoby, assistant coach) is a great teacher," Barnes said. "His NFL experience gives him a credibility that you don't see at this level very often, but sometimes overshadows how good he is with the players.

"We moved a bunch of guys into starting positions last year and Joe got them working as a unit. With these seven guys returning, I expect to pick up right where we left off."

Matthew Bounds and Donny Dodson, who both gained experience on the junior varsity, are candidates to crack the two-deep along the offensive line.

The special teams is also virtually unchanged from 2010 as Lloyd, a sophomore, and Gay, a junior, return to man the placekicking and punting duties.

Lloyd was 6 for 11 in field goals, including two of five from beyond 40 yards. He had a school-record 48 yarder in the 24-14 victory over Averett on October 30.

Gay had a 36.2 yard average in 51 punts with a long of 61 yards. Eleven of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line and he had four punts of at least 50 yards.

"Last season, we were looking at Cory shifting from placekicker to punter and Andrew making the transition from high school," Barnes said.

"I thought both of them performed very well in those new roles and they are ready for even greater improvement this fall."

Gay will once again serve as the holder and Brooks is back for his fourth year as long snapper.

"Overall, I am very happy with the depth we have in our program," Barnes commented. "I thought we had our best year ever with the off-season program, which should allow us to start at an advanced spot when camp starts this season.

"Our recruiting numbers are about the same as always – I expect between 50 and 60 newcomers when practice starts in August. We should start camp right around 120 players.

"This is our last opportunity to win a USA South Conference title and I expect our guys to be prepared for every opponent's best effort each time out. It should be a great season and I can't wait to get started."

Shenandoah opens up the 2011 season at home against NCAA newcomer Stevenson before hosting future ODAC rival Bridgewater on September 10.

The final non-conference game, on September 17, is also against an ODAC foe. SU will travel to Ashland to take on Randolph-Macon.

Following an off-week, the Hornets host Greensboro in an October 1 Homecoming contest before going to Christopher Newport for just the second night game in Captains history.

Shenandoah completes the regular season with home dates against Maryville (Tenn.) on October 15 and Ferrum on October 29 along with road games atMethodist, October 22, Averett, November 5, and N.C. Wesleyan, November 12.

The N.C. Wesleyan contest is the final USA South game for the football program.

"We have had a great run in the USA South but it isn't over yet," Barnes said. "Our motto this season is going to be 'finish', and that is what we intend on doing in the USA South. We have seven games left and we intend to compete from start to finish in every one of them."

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 29, Westfield State 14
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Moravian 20, at Juniata 17
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at Salve Regina 41, Endicott 14
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at Thomas More 63, St. Vincent 13
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at Union 28, Hobart 23
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at Hamilton 27, Colby 24
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at Christopher Newport 27, William Paterson 19
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at Ithaca 35, St. John Fisher 10
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at Allegheny 44, Kenyon 35
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SUNY-Maritime 21, at Mount Ida 13
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Middlebury 43, at Bates 14
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at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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at Amherst 21, Wesleyan 17
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at Trinity (Conn.) 63, Bowdoin 14
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Husson 48, at Gallaudet 21
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Wabash 35, at Oberlin 21
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at Utica 34, Buffalo State 12
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Ohio Northern 7, at Muskingum 6
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at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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at Stevenson 26, Albright 23
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Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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at Albion 31, Alma 28
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at Guilford 45, Shenandoah 20
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Plymouth State 40, at Massachusetts Maritime 14
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Final
Wooster 58, at Hiram 25
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Washington and Lee 36, at Hampden-Sydney 6
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at Anna Maria 36, Alfred State 34
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Bridgewater 31, at Emory and Henry 23
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at FDU-Florham 49, Wilkes 31
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Lebanon Valley 17, at Misericordia 0
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at St. Lawrence 36, Rochester 14
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RPI 30, at Alfred 15
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at Curry 46, Nichols 16
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at Salisbury 42, Southern Virginia 0
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Ferrum 27, at Brevard 24
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Randolph-Macon 63, at Apprentice 14
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at Susquehanna 21, Ursinus 14
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Cortland 34, at Morrisville State 20
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at Trine 50, Hope 14
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Trinity (Texas) 27, at Sewanee 21
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Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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at Franklin and Marshall 56, Dickinson 0
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Tufts 21, at Williams 13
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Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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MIT 30, at Coast Guard 21
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at Norwich 24, Maine Maritime 22
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at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Franklin 29, at Rose-Hulman 22
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John Carroll 48, at Capital 21
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at Manchester 28, Bluffton 21
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Mount St. Joseph 71, at Anderson 27
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UW-Whitewater 20, at UW-River Falls 7
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Kean 26, at TCNJ 3
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at LaGrange 59, Greensboro 10
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at Worcester State 45, Mass-Dartmouth 40
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Muhlenberg 40, at McDaniel 13
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Final
Western New England 45, at Becker 0
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Final
at Maryville (Tenn.) 35, Methodist 14
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Adrian 36, at Kalamazoo 22
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Final
Denison 31, at Ohio Wesleyan 20
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Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
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Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
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at Benedictine 43, Olivet 37
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Birmingham-Southern 31, at Austin 24
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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at UW-Stout 23, UW-Stevens Point 17
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Final
Eureka 37, at MacMurray 20
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at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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Nebraska Wesleyan 14, at Buena Vista 13
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Lakeland 48, at Wisconsin Lutheran 0
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Final
at Aurora 28, Rockford 21
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at Concordia-Chicago 37, Concordia (Wis.) 17
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at St. Olaf 29, Carleton 26
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at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
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Final
Westminster (Mo.) 24, at Greenville 14
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Final
at Loras 44, Coe 38
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Monmouth 61, at Cornell 10
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Wheaton (Ill.) 56, at North Park 0
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Final
Northwestern (Minn.) 30, at Martin Luther 14
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
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Final
at Lake Forest 70, Grinnell 6
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Final
at Millikin 56, Carroll 35
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Final
at Macalester 47, Ripon 31
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at St. Norbert 38, Lawrence 6
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Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Crown 21
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at Iowa Wesleyan 24, Minnesota-Morris 17
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UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
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Final
at WPI 41, Merchant Marine 7
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Final
at Centre 42, Rhodes 35
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Final
Hanover 49, at Earlham 14
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Final
at Chicago 55, Beloit 12
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
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Final - OT
at Dubuque 28, Simpson 27
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at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
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at East Texas Baptist 68, Louisiana College 35
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Final
at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
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Final
Western Connecticut 27, at Bridgewater State 20
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Final
Chapman 38, at La Verne 21
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Final
Pacific 17, at Lewis and Clark 7
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Final
Pacific Lutheran 27, at Willamette 14
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at Whitworth 38, Puget Sound 23
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Final
Redlands 42, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 25
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at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
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Sul Ross State 52, at Howard Payne 15
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at Castleton 17, Dean 14
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N.C. Wesleyan 21, at Averett 15
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at Otterbein 37, Baldwin Wallace 29
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Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
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Carnegie Mellon 42, at Thiel 10
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at Illinois College 23, Knox 13
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at Cal Lutheran 60, Whittier 34
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Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
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Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
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Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
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Final
at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
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Final
at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
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Final
Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
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